Authorities Want to Cite Bald Eagle That Attacked $995 Government Drone Sending It to Bottom of Lake Michigan
In the air space above the waters of Lake Michigan, an EGLE drone which was in operation to map the shoreline of the lake, was struck down by an upper peninsula bald eagle. The reasons for which the eagle attacked the drone is still a subject of debate, but the attack sent the drone spiraling down into the waters of the lake from where it was never recovered.
1The eagle attack on a drone
A drone operated by a Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) pilot was struck down by an Upper Peninsula bald eagle. The eagle’s sudden and swift attack managed to tear off a propeller which caused the aircraft to crash into Lake Michigan and sink to its bottom.
2Eagle vs. EGLE
On the 21st of July EGLE environmental quality analyst and drone pilot Hunter King was operating the drone for the purpose of mapping the shoreline. The data was to be used by the agency to document shoreline erosion and the rising water levels to help communities cope with it. It was during this field operation that the eagle vs. EGLE onslaught took place near Escanaba in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
3The drone was on its fourth mapping flight of the day
The attack occurred when King’s drone had completed seven minutes of the mapping flight, with this being the fourth of the day in the area. When the satellite reception got spotty, he pressed the “Go Home” recall button. The drone dutifully turned and managed to reacquire a strong satellite feed.
4The drone was on its way back to King when it was ultimately struck down
As the drone was beelining for home, King was closely watching his video screen when suddenly the drone began twirling furiously. King said, “It was like a really bad rollercoaster ride”. As soon as King looked up the drone was nowhere to be seen, but he noticed an eagle in the distance flying away.